Thinking I’d be an English major I took English 101. The prof asked us who our favorite poets were and I said Ogden Nash. That was the end of majoring in English. Guess I should have said Don Marquis, my 2nd favorite.
So I ended up majoring in Psychology, mostly because it was the only major that didn’t require taking a foreign language. That helped lead to a later career in organizational design, which led to a 2-year assignment in Mexico. No puedo ganar.
One of my favorite experiences at Allegheny was when Dr. Luvaas invited me to tag along on his annual trip for his history majors to Gettysburg. He knew I produced silly silent movies for Phi Delta Theta, and what a great site for a war flick! We borrowed civil war uniforms from the Theater Dept. and created a legendary epic (https://vimeo.com/22084329).
We created an official position in PDT, “House Movie-Maker” complete with a budget for film and equipment. I followed in the footsteps of the great Charlie Unger who got it all started. We’d create comical versions of popular movies of the day and show them at house events, with music played on an old LP record player.
In 1981 I married Susan Haas in the living room of the home where we still live.
Where We’ve lived
I loaded up my Peugeot 303 after graduation and drove to Cincinnati, where I’ve lived (except for a 2 year stint in Mexico City) ever since.
I interviewed with Procter & Gamble Brand Management even though I had absolutely no idea what marketing was, having not taken a single business course at Allegheny. But I guess I figured it out well enough to spend 31 years with the Company.
After 5 years in Brand, I transferred to a fledgling part of the HR Department where I served as an internal consultant on organizational design. We pioneered creating “high performance work systems” for the manufacturing arm of the Company. These were team-based organizations where layers of management were eliminated and decision-making was pushed to the lowest possible levels. Very successful operations by any standard. I also provided strategic planning support for a number of other departments around the world.
I later became the Global Director of Recruiting, Training and Development, where I traveled internationally, started up the Company’s first training Center, and designed and conducted the first ever Executive Leadership Program for the Company’s top 650 managers worldwide. I retired in 2000.
Our children / grandchildren
We have 2 children of our own, Caroline, 33 and Meredith, 29. We also raised a great niece and nephew, David Gawlick, 34 and Delilah Haas, 31.
I retired from P&G in 2000, consulted for a while, served on many non-profit boards, and now have a fledgling videography business (Decker Video Productions). I currently produce a weekly video blog about home ownership, real estate and all things Cincinnati.
Current activities / hobbies
Travel, visiting the kids, old-man tennis, home maintenance, and walking